Making the announcement when he tabled the Ministry’s budget in the National Assembly here last Thursday, he said in the coming year, he would table new legislation and amendments to other legislation to strengthen Namibia’s ability to combat poaching and the illegal trafficking of wildlife products and increase fines and penalties significantly.
The Ministry of Environment’s budget allocation for the 2016/2017 fiscal year is more than 581 million Namibian dollars (about US$37.5 million), of which more than 31 million NAD were allocated to the protection and management of key species and natural habitat programmes, while more than 213 million NAD would go to the wildlife and protected area management programme.
“Namibia needs to be very well prepared to deal with threats to its rhino and elephant populations, and other wildlife species in the light of the recent trends elsewhere in Africa; particularly those in neighbouring countries,” said Shifeta.
Some of the national strategies, policies and legislation that assemble the institutional framework within the government to ensure sustainable protected area, tourism and environmental management and development include the Parks and Wildlife Bill (draft); Environment Management Bill (draft); as well as the Promotion of and Wildlife Management, Utilisation and Tourism in Communal Areas Policy.
Since last year, poachers have killed 86 rhinos and since December last year, seven elephants have been poached, while 10 poachers were arrested in the Bwabwata, Mudumo and Nakasa Rupara national parks.